Mothering is hard some days. It’s the relationship that’s one-sided for many years because your wee ones rely on you for mostly everything and when they’re babies absolutely everything. While you know they love you, they require you to make all the sacrifices.
I’ve always wanted 4 children but at 3 the days are sometimes long. No matter how crazy life is, I don’t ever take my kids for granted or wish I could change my life. Motherhood is my greatest joy in life. When I’m stressed out, much like I’ve been the past few weeks, I seek to find things that make me grateful.
Don’t we wish there was a book about life, particularly motherhood, that gives you all the ins and outs without the growing pains. Sounds lovely, right? You’ve heard me say before that no advice quite prepares you for motherhood because it’s true.
Everyone’s motherhood journey is different, and through it, we all grow. It’s just that type of situation that we wouldn’t change even though we don’t know the outcome.
I remember meeting my first son for the first time and thinking, “Holy hell, I’m totally responsible for another person until I die.” Anyone else have a similar thought?
Unfortunately, I had so many misconceptions about motherhood. Maybe I just had a “head in the clouds” attitude or felt that because I worked neonatal ICU I knew all I needed to about the baby stage. Nothing could’ve prepared me for sleepless nights, seeing my baby get immunizations for the first time, or unsuccessfully breastfeeding. Nothing.
It was early on in my motherhood journey that I discovered how much I needed to learn. Of all the things I needed to learn, one thing I knew was that I’d go to the end of Earth for this little being (and now them all since my family’s grown twice more since). That was very clear.
On the days that are stressful and when I’m exhausted, I try to remind myself of why I ever wanted children to begin with. God has a way of reminding us that he’s given us just what we asked for. He’s hilarious in that way if you didn’t know.
Biblically joy is defined as, “the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life, the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be alright, and the determined choice to praise God in every situation.” I mean after reading that how could I not appreciate that he designated me to be their mother.
Now, I’ll be honest, I’m not always happy parenting. Listen, it’s hard and I know you relate. It’s during those hard times that I listen for God’s voice to send me gentle reminders to calm my spirit. Often, he whispers, “They’re just being kids. Relax.” Those little whispers make all the difference.
Some days I have to find the joys of motherhood to reel myself back from the brink of a meltdown. Yes, I have mommy breakdowns and need mommy time-outs from time to time. The only difference is that I don’t get uninterrupted time-outs if you know what I mean.
What are some ways to find the joys in motherhood?
- See your children as a blessing. I don’t take my children for granted. When I look at the changes to my body or my lifestyle, I remind myself that I wouldn’t trade my children for the differences. I whole-heartedly believe that children deserve the best of us as parents. I’d be the first to admit that I do not always give my children the best of me. I pray and keep it moving because I know I’ll get there.
- See motherhood as a gift. Sometimes I sit and think of all the people longing to have children. I’m quickly reminded that I have healthy children and that my ability to birth them was a true gift. See number one for affirmation. I love thinking of my children as having gifted me with their presence. Thinking of it that way helps me have clarity on the rough days.
- Spend quality time with your child(ren) independently. Recently, I’d thought to myself how it was important that I start spending more quality time with each child. I want to make sure that I’m filling their buckets. I’ve let my plate get so full that I’m not making time for them in the way that is best. I don’t know about you but to see my children happy and having fun always brings joy to my heart. For most children, it doesn’t take much to bring them joy. It’s through my time with my children that I learn something new about them or gain insights into why they make decisions they make. It’s a time for creating memories to be cherished forever.
- Spend a few hours alone. Y’all know I’m huge on time alone. For me it’s most nights when I can enjoy little pieces of silence. I’d love to eventually wake early for a couple hours of alone time before the house wakes but the inconsistency in my schedule hasn’t made that a reality just yet. Use that alone time for reading, exercise, or meditation. When I know I’ll have a few hours of alone time, I’m better at the everyday business of home.
I can’t lie. Motherhood has made me a better person but some of it is surely from the growing pains. And I know that I’m not done growing. I have many years left with my wee ones at home. I will appreciate the time. I can’t wait to see how we transform together over the next several years. I know that I have them on borrowed time, so it’s a goal to find the joy in their existence every step of the way. I recommend you do the same.
What ways do you find joy in motherhood?